Newspaper Guild honors Rosa for prison series

So named for the organization’s longtime general counsel and mentor, the David S. Barr Award is designed to recognize high school and college students for their journalistic achievements, and to encourage young journalists to focus on issues of social justice and fairness.

Erin Rosa’s series explored conditions inside Supermax, the nation’s highest security prison in Florence in south-central Colorado. In a series of reports, Rosa detailed a rate of high employee turnover, frustrated staff, the potential that inmates may incite riots and ongoing equipment, ventilation and sewage spill problems. The combination, Rosa found, was turning the facility into a “concrete tinderbox.”

The Newspaper Guild was founded in 1933 as a print journalists’ union, and today is primarily a media union with more than 34,000 members in the United States, Canada and in Puerto Rico.

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